In comparison with the other two Dragon Ball films, the American Dragonball Evolution and Taiwanese Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins, this movie is by far the most faithful to Akira Toriyama's story, and the one that received the highest ratings in the Internet Movie Database (5.0, against 3.1 of DBE and 3.8 of DBTMB).
Also, since this movie is impossible to get, you might have to resort to piracy to see it. It can easily found on a Google or YouTube search.
This movie provides examples of:
- Adaptational Badass: Oolong, not only does his robot form actually boast working weaponry but he also learns the Kamehameha and uses it to defeat Pilaf alongside Goku.
- Yamcha is a much more competent fighter too, single handedly defeating Shu with just ONE hit.
- The Pilaf gang themselves are depicted as more of a threat. Pilaf can shoot lightning like Darth Sidious, Shu is a cyborg and Mai gains the ability to shape-shift into a Centipede monster.
- Even Umigame the Turtle gets an upgrade, joining the final battle against Pilaf and laying a beatdown on him!
- Adaptational Early Appearance: Nappa from Dragon Ball Z appears.
- Anime Hair: Just look at the picture!
- Composite Character: The character wearing the Saiyan armor looks like Nappa but has Raditz's role.
- Dirty Old Man: Downplayed with Roshi, who only ever asks for a kiss from Bulma.
- Dub Name Change:
- Characters are generally referred to with the same names seen in the Korean localization of Dragon Ball proper, including Son Goku being referred to as "Son Ogong," the Korean name of his namesake, Sun Wukong from Journey to the West (similar to how Goku's Japanese name comes from the Japanese name for Sun Wukong).
- "Kame House" is renamed "Turtle House" in this movie. Granted, it could be just an overly literal translation.
- Everything's Better with Plushies: Puar is portrayed as one in the movie (See below).
- Off-the-Shelf FX: The Dragon Radar's a customized Game & Watch and Puar's a simple plush toy of the character.
- People in Rubber Suits: Since there was no way to make a pterodactyl or a bear, they had to use guys in a pterodactyl armor and a bear in armor respectively.
- This is also true for all the other characters. Which is awesome, since they resemble a lot the characters from the Manga.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: It's a movie about Dragon Ball, so a lot of things were left out. Other times things are changed due to budget restrictions e.g. the Pterodactyl is adapted as a human with Pterodactyl features.
- Shout-Out: In Bulma's capsule house, the very first episode of Dragon Ball is seen on TV.
- Smoking Is Cool: Puar is seen smoking in his film even though he never does so in the Manga.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Most of the villains are killed through very minor occurrences and yet they explode.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Puar is present for the first half of the movie but disappears for the second half. Granted Yamcha could've left him behind in his desert base while he went on his dangerous mission but that's something implied rather than outright addressed.